The MLB has officially partnered with the crypto exchange, FTX, in its first sponsorship with a crypto company. The new collaboration will be long-term and will also feature uniform patches for umpires.
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The announcement came in the form of a press release this morning and also revealed that FTX has formed a deal with MLB Players inc., a subsidiary of the MLB Players Association, that will allow FTX to use highlights of players in its own content creation.
This news comes on the heels of the exchange's announcement that partnered with the Miami Heat and that the Miami Heat's stadium would be renamed FTX Arena. The company seems to be making a broader move into the professional sports space with its new partnerships.
The debut of the FTX patches on umpire uniforms will begin on with the MLB All-Star Game on July 13th. The FTX patches will also be featured on all umpire uniforms throughout the regular season, postseason and spring training.
FTX will now have worldwide rights to use MLB logos in their own marketing. Fans will begin seeing FTX and MLB logos on FTX advertisements as well as across MLB games, MLB.com, MLB Network, MLB.TV and on various MLB social media platforms.
The CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, said that the new partnership is an honor and that he looks forward to announcing further details of the partnership.
"It's an honor for FTX to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to be associated with the history and tradition of America's national pastime. FTX.COM and FTX.US are excited to enter this first-of-its-kind partnership with Major League Baseball. We look forward to announcing further details of our long-term partnership throughout the remainder of this year."
The MLB's CRO, Noah Garden, said that the MLB fanbase have been early adopters of new tech to engage in the game and that FTX has been a leader in the crypto industry.
"FTX quickly cultivated itself into a worldwide leader in the ever-evolving cryptocurrency industry and continues to build on its already impressive reputation. Our fans have been early adopters in using new technologies to engage with our game. We cannot wait to start collaborating with Sam and the entire FTX team."
It is still unclear if this partnership could result in broader adoption of cryptocurrency within the MLB. Earlier in the year, Grayscale partnered with the New York Giants. The Giants Cheif Commercials Officer, Pete Guelli, said that such a partnership with Grayscale could help them navigate the space, suggesting that the team could end up using cryptocurrency in the future.
"Grayscale quickly emerged as a company that shares our passion for the New York market but also has the institutional knowledge and network of partners that we can access as crypto continues to evolve.”
More partnerships between crypto-related companies and sports teams could help to push more crypto adoption in professional leagues. In a growing trend, a number of sports teams, like the Dallas Mavericks, San Jose Sharks, Oakland Athletics, and more already accept cryptocurrency for tickets and other products at their venues.